What to Watch For Martinsville

April 1, 2011
by Lee

The Sprint Cup season is off to a fantastic start this year. Five races into the season, and we have had five different winners. Competition has been close at times, and sometimes drivers have run away from the field. This week we shift gears from the wide open spaces of Auto Club Speedway, to the tight concrete turns and asphalt straighaways of Martinsville Speedway.

If you are looking to catch the Cup race on TV this weekend, be sure to tune into Fox at 1:00 PM Eastern on Sunday. This race is going to feature drivers battling to get to the bottom of the track on the restarts. We will also see more driver frustration leading to the bump and run than what we saw at the high banks of Bristol a couple of weeks ago. If you are faster than the guy in front of you and he won’t get out of the way, the chrome horn is a must at Martinsville.

There are always key players to watch at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson immediately come to mind when this track comes up on the schedule. The two of them have combined to win something like every race there since Darrell Waltrip retired. Okay, so not that many, but they are both drivers to keep an eye on.

Jeff Gordon is strong at this track as well. Gordon should have won the Spring race last year, but remember how he kept Matt Kenseth from winning the race in the green white checker finish. I still look for Gordon to have a strong run, but will he have the car right to end the reign of Johnson and Hamlin is another question.

Another story line, can those drivers in the top ten in points continue to have strong finishes? Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. keep has consistent strong finishes going? Who will use up their brakes early in the race? These stories will play out over 500 laps on Sunday.

The Camping World Truck Series also makes a visit to Martinsville on Saturday. This race can be seen on Speed TV at 2:00 PM Eastern on Saturday.

Earlier this week there were stories as to whether Jeffery Earnhardt, grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, would continue driving a truck for Rick Ware. If I understand correctly, there was a dust up and Earnhardt was going to be released from the ride. Things have been smoothed over and Earnhardt will continue in the truck.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch will pull double duty this weekend by participating in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville. The story will be whether one of these two Cup regulars survives the beating and banging of the truck series at Martinsville to take the checkered flag, or will it be a truck regular going to victory circle.

The weekend for giving out grandfather clocks has arrived. Enjoy the short track racing, and be sure to check back at www.troubleinturntwo.com for recaps of all the action.

While you are here, please take a moment to like our page on Facebook as well. It only takes a second and we would appreciate your support. On Twitter, follow us @troublinturntwo or @herdanicaship. As always, we welcome your comments. Let us know what you think or who is going to win this weekend. Agree or disagree, we would like to hear from you.

Have a great weekend!

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